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Does alcohol tolerance impact your blood alcohol content?

On Behalf of | Feb 18, 2021 | Drunk Driving

When deciding if they’re sober enough to drive safely, most people just consider how they feel. They don’t pull out a breath test and see what their blood alcohol content (BAC) is at the moment. If they feel sober, they assume it’s under 0.08% and they get in the car.

This can obviously lead to arrests when people are simply wrong about how much alcohol is in their system. But what if they’re right? Say someone has a high alcohol tolerance. They may not feel as drunk as someone else who has a lower tolerance level, even after the same amount of drinks. Does that mean they have a lower BAC?

BAC and alcohol tolerance

Interestingly, tolerance and BAC are not linked. You may not feel as drunk, and there may not be as many outward indicators – such as slurring your words and stumbling. However, your BAC will be just as high. This means you could still be over the legal limit, regardless of how you feel or whether or not you think the alcohol is actually hindering your ability to drive safely. The law allows the court to assume a driver is impaired when they’re at 0.08% or over, and that’s true even for those with a high tolerance.

As such, someone who drinks frequently may be more likely to be arrested for suspicion of drunk driving. This is because of both more exposure due to their drinking habits and the fact that they’re less likely to feel drunk and think they shouldn’t drive. All those who are facing charges must understand what legal options they have. An experienced attorney can help.

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